Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson is not someone you’d expect to get into a fight. Save for a verbal altercation with Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas in the 2016 Playoffs, Jefferson just doesn’t seem like the fighting type.
In an interview with Slam magazine’s Max Resetar, however, Jefferson recalled getting into a fistfight with former New Jersey Nets teammate Kenyon Martin. Jefferson played for the Nets for the first seven years of his career.
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The Nets were on a West Coast road trip, and they were playing the Portland Trail Blazers. Jefferson said he was “getting into it” with former Trail Blazers guard Bonzi Wells during a free throw. He continued, “Kenyon’s at the bottom of the free throw line, and the referee tells Kenyon, ‘Tell your rookie to be quiet because I don’t wanna have to give him a technical this late into the game.'”
Jefferson said that Martin told him to be quiet, but Wells added fuel to the fire.
“Yeah! Listen to Kenyon and shut up,” Wells told Jefferson.
After that, Jefferson said he lost his composure and went to sit down. Martin angrily came into the locker room, and they got into a “full-on fistfight,” Jefferson said.
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Jefferson said then-Nets forward Aaron Williams broke up the fight, but not before Jefferson hit Williams in the lip, busting it open.
“At that point in time, I realize what is going on,” Jefferson said. “I have no problem fighting Kenyon. Aaron? I don’t want any piece of.”
Williams was a muscular guy at the time, listed at 6-foot-9, 220 pounds. Jefferson probably made a good decision in stopping while he was ahead.
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